We’ve heard some great things from your recent US 40 year anniversary tour of Young loud and Snotty, particularly about how good Jake Hout has been singing. How have you been finding the tour and getting the Dead Boys on the road again?
Well,to me the main thing I’ve noticed is how much the dynamic of this band resembles the original,there was no “breaking in” or “transition” period; this was straight into the deep end,sink or swim,and the guys all stepped up. I was very impressed. Jake had a lot dumped on him at once,and he did it, and made it look effortless. He’s the perfect guy for the job,I knew by the third show that I could trust him onstage,which is great! Now I get to move around and enjoy just playing my guitar!
You revisited the album for it’s 40th, what was your thinking behind this decision?
I had wanted to do something to celebrate the anniversary, like a box set, or doing the album during my solo shows, along those lines.Then when Blitz came on board, we decided to do a tour :with him on drums. Getting Jake was pure luck, it turned out that Ginchy knew him; we had a three or four day run of shows in California coming up and Ginch asked if Jake could get up and do a few songs; I said hell, let him do the whole set! I’d seen a few videos of ” The Undead Boys”, thought he was pretty good and wouldn’t screw things up too bad; then he shows up to rehearsal and nailed it, just killed it. By the time we played the first show, Blitz and I knew he was the guy. The bassist from Undead Boys,Mike Scanland, played the shows too, with the same result, but he was about to become a father and wasn’t able to tour. We needed to come up with a bassist for some shows in Canada, and Ricky was the first guy I thought of; we’d worked together with Texas Terri and had been good friends since;it was back to trust again, and I knew I could trust Ricky.
You’ll be across in the UK early in 2018. With the sound of the Dead Boys being influenced perhaps more by the UK punk scene as opposed to the US, does touring the UK mean anything different to touring other countries?
I don’t know how much the UK punk scene influenced us, since Blitz and I had both been in Rocket From The Tombs in 1974, and a good chunk of the first album was written then; if we were influenced by anything from the UK at that time, it was the Sensational Alex Harvey Band,Cockney Rebel and Sweet. Sonic Reducer was a song long before I heard of the Sex Pistols. That said, the UK does have a special place for us, since a 30 show tour with the Damned was the first time we’d been overseas; that, and just the history of the place, and it’s place i rock and roll history.We were total Beatle geeks in Liverpool!
Can we expect your show in Newcastle to be part of the 40 year anniversary tour, or will you be taking a different approach to the US tour?
The show will be the same as the US tour, with the possible addition of a few songs from the second album, maybe “Detention Home.
You’ve got 3 new members in the band, can you tell us a little bit about them and what they bring to the band?
I’d be glad to, I’ll start with Ginchy …. Ginchy and I met when Frank Meyer from Streetwalkin Cheetahs introduced us; I needed a backing band for several shows at SXSW 2014, and he thought Ginch and a couple of his bandmates from the Bulemics would work. It turns out Frank was right,Ginchy and I got along great, and we began doing some tours after SXSW with Ginchy, Gabe and Chris from Bulemics as my band. We lost Gabe and Chris due to their being unable to do extensive touring; at the end, it was me and Ginch left. He’s a good man, I’ve been able to count on him for four years; the beauty is, he loves the Dead Boys, and knew the albums inside out, even Jimmy Zero’s parts!
Ricky Rat is one of the most solid, dependable guys I know, and a super nice guy to boot. He didn’t blink an eye when I asked if he wanted to play bass, as he’s normally a guitarist , that kind of guy!
Jake I’m just getting to know really, even though we’ve toured a lot this year. He’s a pretty deep guy, very artistic and very smart. We’ve been working on some new songs, and his lyrics blow me away! Onstage, he’s a rock, a real performer, old school.
I’m really happy with the new line up, can ya tell?
Finally what do you think of the current punk scene? Does it still provide as much inspiration to you as it did back in 77?
There’s a current punk scene?? Just kidding – the audience at our shows is mostly young, new punks. The fact that they’ve done their homework enough to be going to our shows gives me hope; I just wish they’d start forming bands…….